10 weeks old and the key to better sleep

Corban is nearly two and a half months old and life is good.

Right at the two month mark everything seemed to get drastically easier. Up until that point, nights were a gamble at best, and a huge sleepless struggle at worst. He was sleeping in a Pack ‘N’ Play in our bedroom and waking up every 2 to 3 hours, sometimes more often than that. In the wee hours, usually around 3 or 4, it would get harder to get him to fall back to sleep, so I couldn’t count on much good sleep at all for half the night.

Based on the fact that he was growing at superspeed and definitely at the size and age when they shouldn’t need to nurse every 2 hours, I figured he just really liked sucking for comfort, so I tried more diligently with the pacifier (which before he could never seem to keep in his mouth). Success! He actually liked the Nuk brand pacifiers I had gotten with some coupon package when I was pregnant. That definitely helped comfort him when he was just wanting to suck.

I was also sensing that it was time for a nighttime change — time for Little C to move into his own room.

At our two-month appointment, our pediatrician confirmed those thoughts and said it was definitely time to move him to his crib in the nursery and that at his size — a hefty 12 pounds 13 ounces and 24 inches (the 70th and 85th percentiles respectively) — he is probably not getting too hungry in the middle of the night, so if he wakes up after only two hours it’s fine to offer the pacifier.

The first night we put Corban in his crib was magical! I swaddled him, fed him and read to him, then put down our sleepy little man. He fussed for a couple minutes, but then passed out for a good five hours!

Not every night is that easy, but we can usually get him to sleep within 10 minutes of putting him in his crib. We’re sort of taking a modified cry it out approach, where we never let him fuss for more than five minutes. After five minutes, we go it, soothe him, give him the pacifier if he’ll take it and turn on soothing music (a removable attachment from the Pack ‘N’ Play that we moved to the crib).

On a good night, he’s in bed by 7 p.m., then wakes up twice in the middle of the night to eat (usually around midnight and 4:30 a.m.) and is up for the day at 7 a.m. on the dot. Sometimes then Peter will bring him into our bed and he’ll be happy or sleepy enough to lie there another hour or so while I nap or cuddle with him.

I think the fact that we don’t wake up at his every noise really helps. If he’s crying, we hear it on the monitor, but if he’s just making baby noises, it’s not loud enough to wake us up anymore. It’s also a good thing that I have to get out of bed and walk across the house to feed him. It helps me stay awake while feeding, which makes everything much more efficient.

Our evenings feel so free now that I’m not confined to the couch with a baby wanting to nurse incessantly. It’s refreshing! (Although sometimes around 10 p.m. I’ll see a picture of him and miss his warm little body that is glued to me during the day. I just have to remember he’ll be awake all too soon enough and I can snuggle him then…)

It’s amazing what a huge difference the simple act of moving him into the nursery has made! We went from unpredictable and waking 4+ times per night to a fairly reliable sleep pattern. I never thought that would happen!

In other 10-week (actually 10.5-week) news, he is smiling more and more and I cannot get enough of it! Now if he’s in a good mood (fed, rested and with a clean diaper) all it takes is someone talking to him in an overly excited voice or even making funny faces and noises and he’ll bust out a grin. Peter is trying to train him to smile at the sight of a clean diaper, and he often does, though I think it’s more because the changing table is comfortable and at the perfect height to get a good view of mom or dad.

He is definitely more visually stimulated these days, and we’ve even caught him smiling at the mobile over his swing with no other stimulation. His eyes follow us around and he loves – LOVES – to stare at lights. Anything bright and shiny, his eyes will find it and never want to turn away.

He also recently started sticking his tongue out. It is pretty cute, and I’ve been working on getting him to stick his tongue out when I stick mine out at him. I think he’s slowly starting to catch on. It’s amazing to watch his little brain develop!

Napping is the next issue that needs to be tackled. He is fine falling asleep in his crib at night, but it’s really hit or miss for naps. He prefers to nap on peoples’ chests. This is a good thing for weekends like this past one, filled with family lined up to hold him, but not so good for days like today when I need to pack for our trip to Florida and he will only sleep in his crib for a short time before getting fussy.

Side note, I think he was dreaming about flying for the 30 minutes he slept in his crib this afternoon:

I sometimes swaddle him for naps, but it doesn’t seem to make a huge difference.

As I type, he’s sleeping peacefully while I wear him in the Baby Bjorn and I’m OK with that as a short-term fix. But after our trip, naps is the next order of business.

On that note, time to get some more packing done! We will be spending the week relaxing with my grandparents and enjoying some pool and beach time. I can’t wait to dip Corban’s toes in the ocean! (Well, Gulf.)

One thought on “10 weeks old and the key to better sleep

  1. badesjarlais says:

    Wow. Reading your blog was like listening to my own thoughts. Jake is the same as Corban…similar sleeping pattern, smiling tons more lately, and LOVES lights! I wonder if all babies are like this or if our little guys are just that similar! I’m so excited to take Jake to the beach, but we will probably be waiting a little longer. I will, however, be spending a lot of time with him at the pool this summer. Cannot wait! Have a great time in FL!


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